A few months ago, I was once again elected to the position of Arts and Sciences Minister of the Barony-Marche of the Debatable Lands. this position used to have a few pieces of regalia associated with it, but most of them have been lost since the last time I was minister. I decided a new belt favor was first on the list.
The fabric is a navy cotton twill I bought online. The populace badge is one of the embroidered patches I had made a few years ago. The A&S badge is machine embroidery designed by me and applied with my embroidery machine.
I have added the first new page to the non-blog portion of my web site in quite some time. I can’t even remember for sure what the last one was. In any case, this new page is a showcase for all of the “VP3”-format embroidery stitch pattern files I have created over the past several years. I received a request for some of them, and thought I would make the whole collection available to the Internet. Most of them are SCA-related, but there are a bunch of pop-culture and media-related designs at the bottom.
I use a piece of digitizing software called Embird to create these patterns, and the images are all exports of the 3D simulation of the eventual embroidery. Embird is a good value, and I have not had too much trouble figuring out its features. The files it produces work so reliably that I have not even tried embroidering some of these patterns. The fun is in designing and creating them.
Anyway, please read the text at the top of that page if you want to use any of those files.
One of the martial activities in the SCA is called “Thrown Weapons”. Participants throw handled metal weapons such as axes and knives at fixed targets for scores. If you can achieve certain scores during a timed exercise, you qualify for different ranks. These belt favors are meant to be given to those participants who have achieved the required skill levels. The background color of each favor denotes the rank: black for Thrower (0-29 points), blue for Verfur (30-59 points), purple for Caster (60-79 points), green for Huntsman (80-99 points), and red for Marksman (100-120 points).
Each is machine embroidered on cotton twill fabric. The favors are about 7.5 inches wide and 18 inches long, meant to be doubled over a belt. The badge is 3.5 inches in diameter. The fabric is doubled over into a kind of bag, inside which valuables or authorization cards can be stored. I made six of each rank, thirty in all. Even though the machine did all the hard work, there was still a bunch f work setting things up, switching threads, and completing the favors. It took me a while.
I would have tried to get these done before Pennsic, but since Pennsic was cancelled for this year due to nobody wanting to share a campground with 10,000 other people from all over the world, I procrastinated.
These were all machine embroidered onto some nice heavy golden yellow cotton duck fabric, and display the Baronial comet along with “Salve Accolens” (“Hello Neighbor”), the Baronial motto. Each is about six inches wide, and 18 inches long (they are doubled over in the photo). You can see I tried out a couple of different typefaces before deciding on this classy French Script, and if you look closely you can also see that I tried out some of the dozens of decorative top-stitching patterns that are available on my sewing machine but that I almost never use.
I am much happier with the way this one came out. I need to figure out which of my heretofore-unadorned polo shirts needs a BtAF embellishment. I could also really use a few more colors of embroidery thread for the machine. The “pepto pink” thread isn’t exactly wrong for Bob, but it could be closer match to Stephen Notley’s artwork.
Recent experiments applying the mon of Clan Yama Kaminari to fabric have demonstrated to me that I am most happy with machine embroidered versions. They are durable, attractive, and can be made by a robot. This last is handiest because I want to embark on a project to make probably several dozen of these so that when we do something like march in a festival parade or rocess into court as a group, we can have a uniform look. Here are two prototypes I made over the last few days.
Even with a robot to do all of the embellishment work, it’s still labor intensive to get the fabric loaded onto the machine just right to get good results exactly where you want them. It also takes about ten minutes to complete each mon, so that’s going to be a lot of time if we make a whole bunch of these.
When you are recognized for your achievements in the SCA, you are typically inducted into an order, and you receive both a scroll and a piece of regalia. Usually, the regalia is a medallion or belt favor that displays the heraldry of the order. Making belt favors is one of the main uses to which I put my embroidery machine. I’ve designed stitch patterns for most of the kingdom orders, and try to set aside some time and resources each year to make some for donation.
New for this batch is the Gage. The symbol of this order is actually a black glove, and the regalia given is often an actual glove, but I figured someone might prefer a belt favor.